10 Steps to Get API Distribution For Your Company

Recently I was invited to speak at the AutoDevBot API Conference here in San Francisco regarding BD, API Distribution and how to get customers for your API related company. 

There are way more than 10 things that you have to do in order to grow your customer count and be successful in the API Economy. That said, since every journey starts with a first step, here are some of the things that I believe apply to anybody wanting to start the next SendGrid, Twilio or Stripe. 

If you don't want to read it, scroll down for the slides and full video of the presentation.  ;-) 

1 - Work on an universally distributed protocol 

SMTP, SMS, Payments, Bitcoin, DNS, HTTP and the list goes on. All the top API companies are, for the most part, improving existing protocols or processes that have been in place for many years, not trying to create things from scratch. That way you start day one with massive distribution. 

Email is huge and we are a big part of it. Today we send 2% of all non-spam email in the world. That's about 13 billion messages a month, give or take. Most people use email, most people use SMS, we use payment networks multiple times everyday and transactions will always need some sort of authentication.

The full spirit of way I mean by well adopted protocols and your ability to improve upon them is also described here, on the excellent comparison that Brian Armstrong did with Bitcoin and SMTP. 

2 - Add More Value Than What you Can Capture 

I've talked here before about this excellent Tim O' Reilly Stanford talk. Major APIs are not supposed to just send data from point A to point B or just expose services requests and posts.  

The future is depends on companies and technologies where 1+1=3 . Several of our customers were acquired (Instagram, Posterous, Slideshare, Summify, Pardot - to name a few) and if most of them had to build all their systems in house, most likely it would have taken much longer for them to grow exponentially. 

Help people do their mission better and faster by focusing on the things that matter and your Developer centric API will get adoption. 

3 - Be there Early

"Everywhere". That's probably one of the words I heard the most during my first year at SendGrid (I've been there for almost 3). That is our goal. Being the first partner of your category in multiple platforms has a lot of value. All of our very successful channel partnerships took time to become real money makers and being the first email tool there proved to be a very important piece of that.

Today we have full executive support to always do a deal with the new kids on the block that have growth potential. That's what happened with Heroku and SendGrid. We took an early bet (along with 8 other companies) on Microsoft Azure and it was a fantastic decision. Arrive early, stay late and help your partners. 

At end of the day, specially in BD, "people are buying you they are not buying your product". 

4 - Have Internal Resources that can Support You 

I know a lot of BD guys that have a miserable job. Mainly because they work solo and have to Excel prove every deal that they want to execute on. But that's normal. The problem is when you have to beg for developer resources, marketing attention and support assistance to end up being perceived as "the partnerships dude". 

To execute a good API partnerships you will need marketing, engineering, product, support and in some cases account management. Make sure that there is management buy-in, so that when you have to work with people they can understand the value of the work they are doing. 

At SendGrid we are fortunate enough to have a dedicated team just for partnerships in almost all capacities. This way we can sell, operate and support 35.000 customers (just counting partner customers here) with a team of 4 .

Today we can co-sell to Fortune 500 companies via a partner channel and partner with a new platform that hasn't even raised their seed round at the same time. 

5 - Service as a Software Matters

Being a SaaS company is great. If you have product-market fit and some venture capital, there is a good chance that you'll build a business that is predictable and runs with the most common Financial Performance Metrics for SaaS companies. 

But one thing that makes a huge difference is your ability to become a services company at the same time that you scale. The ratio should be something in between 70-30 or 80-20. So about 1/4 of your company should be working on non-scalable solutions, such as account management, support and outbound sales. 

Competition is very aggressive. Anything cloud, API or IT tends to get commoditized in about 5 years. We can't forget that there are humans on both sides of the table and your major accounts will count for most of your revenue. Give them a better SLA, prices, support and most importantly preferencial treatment on everything. But don't forget to kick ass on the core product, since self-service customers are fundamental for API companies. 

6 - Sample Apps and Good Documentation 

I am a big fan of smart laziness and so are most developers. Remember, you want your API to be the default answer for any problems it can solve. When we launch a deal we work on sample apps, documentation on our website, the partners website and a solid GitHub repo will make a difference. 

If somebody searches for "how to send email on node.js" we should have a sample app for that, with a technical tutorial on the top 5 hosting companies documentation pages that are well known for Node apps. 

Think about the questions that your customers will ask when building their apps and go become the default answers for that everywhere.  

7 - Pay Attention to the "Why" of the Deal  

Every partnership (for the most part) will be slightly different. It's important for you as a company to define the expected values that you want to get out of your partner deals. For SendGrid is usually a combination of revenue, awareness, customer acquisition at a lower cost, defensibility and corporate development potential

8 - Launching and closing is only the first step 

It takes time. Sales cycles can be long and certainly there is that immense satisfaction when code is in production, the legal agreement is executed and a blog post is published or a press release syndicated. Regardless, the most successful distribution deals will require a steady level of maintenance. Pretty much the difference between farming and hunting. Both are important if you want to be able to feed the company with new customers and revenue channels.

 9 - Learn how to say no

That's probably the hardest part of the job, but like Elad said some of the best deals are the ones that never happen.  It's very important to be able to separate opportunities that are just noise versus working on deals that add value. My manager mentioned to me once (quoting a VC that I don't remember) that as an entrepreneur we are always looking for the "yes" and that VCs are always looking for a ways to say no, which perfectly makes sense to me.

That's why I am no longer default to yes in my life

 10 - Learn that "no" can always mean "not yet" 

To be a great BD professional you have to be bullet proof when the topic of conversation is rejection, specially when trying to close new deals in verticals that you have no experience. Our best deals where the ones that took longer to close, but happened because we were patient enough that things worked out in the end for both sides. A lot of factor can influence the result of a deal.

For the most part it is more important to learn the reasons behind the "no" so you can turn them into a solid not yet, that eventually will be a yes. 

Default to yes in Silicon Valley

I recently moved to San Francisco. Certainly I do not want to move back to São Paulo, Brazil — where I was born and raised — or to Boulder, Colorado where I spent almost 3 years going to grad school and working for SendGrid (which I still do). Love those places, but the plan is to establish my life in the Bay Area.

I’m a firm believer that here in SF you can find everything you need to be the best person you are destined to become. 

A while back I had coffee with Shane Steele. She is awesome and a very experienced marketing professional having worked for Twitter (pre-IPO), Yahoo, Coke and some others. Probably one of the best pieces of advice she gave me was that in the early days in the Bay Area I should be “default to yes”. 

When we talked about that in more details, the meaning of it took more shape. When things are new and fresh you should accept random invitations, not try to have total control over the people you meet as well as keeping a sane level of space and emptiness so new things can flourish in your life. Like a personal Sunyata for newcomers. 

Personally I tend to be a bit of a control freak with my time and productivity, so taking that approach was certainly a challenge. That said, here are some of the things I've learned on the “default to yes mode” after 6 months in SF:

 

  • Kayaking around the Bay Are is awesome, safe and totally possible
  • In general people are very much open to meet for a cup of coffee
  • You'll rarely make it to the South Bay, unless there is a business thing going on
  • Being in SF makes things much easier if you work in tech. Synchronicity happens with much more frequency 
  • It’s very important to be able to build something (a blog, an app, events, art) 
  • Pay attention to events and learn how to filter the good and the bad, by attending some of the bad ones
  • Don’t network for the sake of networking, make it relevant for some purpose 
  • Finding an unique voice in Silicon Valley is something very important and hard (still working on that)
  • Help people without expecting anything in return 
  • If you are single (like me) do a healthy combination of offline and online dating - it’s the best way
  • Enjoy a lot of the famous public events like Chinese New Year, Oktoberfest, St. Patricks, Santa Con 
  • Just show up!
  • Do volunteer work
  • Know how to pitch “you” in less than 2 minutes
  • Organize parties
  • Help friends organize parties
  • Wait until visitors come to actually do all the touristy stuff 

Important to say that "default to yes” does not mean saying yes to everything. It means being open to things that look and could be interesting, without letting go of your core principles and mission. I guarantee that some of that randomness will certainly help you find yourself faster. It’s been working for me and I plan to continue to welcome positive things in life.  
 

Why I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram accounts

The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows.

Frank Zappa 

3 and a half weeks ago I deactivated my Facebook account and deleted Instagram off my iPhone. It feels pretty great. (note, I began writing this post in December 18th, 2013 - but only really pulled the plug on December 30th, since I was meeting people in Italy, and Facebook was the only way to keep in touch, unfortunately) 

My relationship with Social Media & Apps

“Wow you have so many apps on your phone” is probably one the most common lines I get if there is an acquaintance looking at my phone while I unlock it. 

I’ve had 5 different blogs in my life. I’ve started online forums, Vimeo and You Tube channels. I even taught a social media class at São Paulo Digital School for PR professionals that was 100% of the times (fortunately) sold-out. 

I’ve also came to the realization that constantly consuming social media is just like eating candy, it will bring you that instant gratification, but it’s not worth in the long haul. I’ve learned that after losing over 15lbs in 2013.

For about 3 years, I had an extremely weird ego-toxic morning routine. While still in bed I would check all the networks as soon as I woke up. It was like crack. Or some sort of attention-cocaine habit I could not get rid of. I would do an email dump, scroll through the messages, not open any of them, go to Facebook, read, but not reply to anything. Open Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram and sometimes OkCupid or Tinder. 

After that, I would get up and go to the bathroom for the usual personal hygiene routine. 

My relationship with work

I used to be that guy that was proud of never taking time off. I pulled it off for almost 4 years. 

Work 12 hours a day? Yes! Inbox zero on Sunday? For sure. Canceling a vacation to Floranópolis with college friends to work alone on that side project during the holiday? Count me in! I was on the hustle train and felt unstoppable. Until of course, I crashed and burned out. 

I must admit that I've been taking it slower in the past 3-4 months. I mean, in comparison to where I was before I know that I’ve significantly slowed down. I feel that now I am back at the beginning of my peak performance again, but it does take a while to recover from that entrepreneurial combo of "burnout-depression". 

In between Q2-Q3 I just fell off the wagon of productivity and my email / work / social media life became extremely overwhelming. It was ridiculous, and I hated it. 

The moment I decided that I had to change things for good: I took a vacation day from work (a Friday!), to secretly work, without people having to expect a response from me and on the same night had this “nightmare” about never being able to finish my inbox and tasks at hand. 

I decided it was time to change things for good. GTD and David Allen helped quite a lot, as well as a productivity course I took with my friend Thiago Forte - By the way he is one of the best GTD consultants in San Francisco (In case you need some help as well).

Facebook became purely a newsfeed of egotistic updates or shitty jokes. I guess that’s what happens when most of your friends work in tech and own a startup. Instagram was also providing little value. Sure, I could see who was going to Bali, check out the snow in Boston or even remember how hot some of my Brazilian high school friends still look hot. However when scrolling pictures on Instagram, nothing real usually happens. 

Maybe I am doing it all wrong but it became a major time-suck and energy drainer. I kept using the prime hours of my brain to do things that would just not bring anything back. It takes a while to get back into “focus-in-the-zone-mode” and there is a limited amount of decisions we can make on any given day, after just turning on the auto pilot (aka, poor judgement) 

Social Media is the nicotine of our times and the cigarettes are the smartphones. 

I felt like checking Facebook at least 6-8 times during the first days in addition to the 3-4 Instagram checks. Instead of doing that I actually followed up on important business deals, finished cleaning some spreadsheets and have 2 great in person meetings with people I haven't seen in a while. 

Taking some "time off"

I went to Cuba and the Dominican Republic for a week during Thanksgiving and learned amazing things while there. I spent Xmas in Europe with my family . Before that I was in Austin to watch some Formula 1 with great friends and spent a couple of days in Denver to celebrate 2013 results and plan for 2014 with co-workers at SendGrid. 

Vacation, resting and getting away from your own reality are extremely necessary things. As a matter of fact I am fascinated by this new concept I was introduced to called Vagabonding. Thank you Tim Ferriss for starting your own Oprah book Club. 

I will return to all social media channels

I do actually a fair amount of business on Facebook and really engage with people that I legitimate care. I'm just not sure when I am actually going back, but for now this break feels pretty amazing and liberating form the usual FOMO that most of us that work in tech usually feel. 

How did I lose over 20 lbs in 2013

2013 was a very interesting year for for multiple reasons.

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Probably one of my major victories was the fact that I lost almost 20 lbs (approximately 10Kg) during the year.  

My first thought to mind was: how did I gain all his weight in the first place?

After I was able to reverse my H1-B visa denial in 2011, with the help of SendGrid and a letter of recommendation form a federal senator (than you Michael Bennett), I knew I was probably not that excited to go back to Boulder as I was to get back to my job at the time.

I just love big cities way too much and think that I got into a spiral of bad eating habits in 2012, more specifically from June until December. During that time, I probably put on 25-30 lbs in my body, important to notice that I was barely doing any physical activity.  

As I look back into the reasons why I got chubby (no more!) in the first place, they have to deal with the fact that, during my second period in Boulder I was not able to develop any meaningful relationships outside of the business context. I hangout with friends and dated multiple women, but nothing was actually building real value, and I knew I had to change locations. 

I was just overeating every night until I would pass out streaming Netflix. 

Today I can securely say that I have transformed my life and habits regarding exercising and eating.

A program called Retrofit was extremely important on making those changes happen. 

The first thing that probably motivated me was how expensive this program was. Every time my card got charged there was a mental reminder on why I've decided to make those changes a reality.  I knew that once I got into the program and was super conscious about using it as a motivational trigger. 

Retrofit takes the approach of "you can't improve what you can't measure" and it works extremely well. I got a FitBit, a Whitings scale and a Polar to start tracking all my activities. In addition to that, I began using RunKeeper for all my runs. I also gave the Jawbone up a try.

This was probably the most important aspect of habit change experienced. Tracking what is going on is as important as eating the right food and exercising. This way you can focus on repeating what works and drop what doesn't. It also holds you extremely accountable to yourself. 

The online coaches and Skype sessions that the program offers were  pretty fantastic. I am extremely grateful for Jaime, Matt, Val and Brandon for all the assistance support and patience with me. You guys rock and I want you to know that you've made a big difference so far in my life. Thank you for that.  

Here are some of the changes that I incorporated in my life that led to good results on weight loss:

  • Log your food in the first 3-5 months
    • I mean, log everything you eat. This will give you visibility into portion control as well as make you more thoughtful when you are about to devour some fat-sugary-salty piece of food. Because of that I was able to balance my meals better and reduce by 20-30% the amount of food I was eating 
  • Start an extremely easy exercise routine
    • Today I'm happy to say that I will exercise 4 to 5 times every week if not more. This certainly was the most challenging habit to form. In the early days, I would set challenges like "if I do 30 push-ups before I shower every day this week I've exercised". Usually what would happen is that I would be able to do always more than the plan. Even thought it was not a lot of exercises it gave me a feeling of accomplishment and created discipline. After 4-5 months of small goals, I was already addicted to the gym and began actively running.
  • Share progress
    • I connected my scale to all my Jawbone up friends so every time I weight, there is a group of 40ish people that receive a chart on how I am doing, regardless of the quality of the progress. The scale itself is already perfect to track that, but I found this extra step to be very effective
  • Positive Triggers
    • I would read motivational quotes everyday I woke up (I still do that). My social media channels were then flooded by fitness, determination and nutritional channels. Of course I didn't read or watched everything, but it was still a great way to surround myself with a positive influence
  • Learn your bad habits as fast as possible
    • his is a fundamental piece of the evolution. I've come to the realization that my worse habit was that I used to do a high caloric snack in between 11-12PM and that whenever I had more than 3 drinks, I would just eat anything. For the first 12 months, I didn't try to control all bad my habits I just went after the ones that I knew would bring the best ROI, once they were eliminated
  • Start cooking some of your meals
    • Probably the best way to control what you'll eat. I found myself eating much healthier when I cook the food than when I buy it. It will take almost the same amount of work in preparation, cleaning up and shopping, so why not make great choices for your body while at the task of cooking?
  • Do it with a friend or somebody that will hold you accountable
    • On this case I used Retrofit and technically paid for my fitness buddies, but you can do that with friends or find the necessary help online. Today I'm doing a series of goals together with my roommate for 2014 and we are holding each other accountable. That's a powerful way to approach goals and achievements, since doing it 100% by yourself is always harder. 

 

 

 

 

Where it all started to change

This was the shitty and extremely tiny studio I lived in from in Boulder, Colorado from  2010-2011. 1127 Broadway street.  

It was a tiny place where I started to execute on my dreams. A period when  I decided to change my life completely, sell everything I had and apply for Boulder Digital Works.

I took a big risk  and it was probably one of the best decision I've ever made.

As we roll into 2014, stumbling upon this picture has a special feeling of accomplishment combined with the perception I had to fail so many times before things started to workout (and certainly will in the future). 

It's time to hustle. 

 

 

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Today: the endpoint and the present moment

 

"It's like the process of growing up has made me less sure about me somehow"  Jonathan Harris 

Currently our lives are just extremely fragmented. Because of social media we've significantly lost our ability to 'live in the now'. Eckhart Tolle has an amazing book about this called "The Power of Now". I recommend you check it out. 

Our lives are so fragmented, we are just living moment to moment. Do you care about tomorrow? Do you reflect on your past? Today is important. Glorious mistakes are very important. The present moment is very important. 

"As long I kept walking to the mountain I would be alright"

Fantastic commencement by Neil Gaiman. He also started as a journalist. That was only an excuse to actually becoming the person he knew he was destined to be. Absolutely worth 20 minutes of your time.

Go and do what you want to do, don't eve settle for less. Also, don't spend a lot of time on email. It's counter creative. 

"Make good art"

Napoleon Hill on courage and adversity

Your real courage shows best in the hour of adversity.

"Some setbacks are so severe that to give in to them means losing the whole ball game. When he assumed command of the Korean War, Gen. Matthew Ridgeway found his forces pushed far to the south, hard pressed by the invaders. Only a determined decision to hold the lines allowed the American forces to keep from being swept into the sea and to eventually regain all the territory they had lost. When a defeat strikes, you may not have the time to withdraw and contemplate your mistakes without risking further setbacks. Don’t succumb to paralysis. It is important to know at that moment what it is you truly desire and to act to preserve your resources and your hope. If you crumble utterly, you will take a blow to your self-esteem that will be hard to repair. Instead, stick to your principles, and you will know, at the very least, that you have protected the most important thing you have".

Napoleon Hill 

 

Getting More um fantástico livro para qualquer empreendedor


Estou lendo um livro realmente muito interessante chamado "Getting More, How to Negociate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World", de um professor de Wharton chamado Stuart Diamond.  

Ele entra na lista de livros para se tornar 1% melhor a cada dia, com certeza. Stuart fala sobre como conseguir mais e conquistar melhores "posições na vida". Desde um café de graça até uma negociação multi-bilionária a um simples desconto em uma camiseta. Sejamos sinceros, todos queremos mais.

Tenho trabalhado com business development por quase 2 anos e meio e boa parte do meu dia está relacionada a negociar algo. Seja com engenheiros da Sendgrid, sócios nas iniciativas que participo ou deals que estou trabalhando.

Eu não fui para Stanford, MIT ou algum renomado MBA e as vezes me sentia altamente intimidado em alguns calls por conta disso. Até que chegou um momento no qual tive que tomar decisões e forçar algumas coisas em um deal. Consegui o sucesso na negociação e hoje esse é o 3o maior canal de conversão de clientes da Sendgrid. Saber negociar é realmente muito importante.

Abaixo separei 12 passos fundamentais que são destacados no livro. Um obrigado ao Ricardo Lombardi, editor da VIP que destacou o livro em seu blog

 

1. Sempre foque no seu objetivo em primeiro lugar 

Isso é bem simples, mas na prática pode ser mais complicado do que parece. Não adianta ficar nervoso com o atendente de telemarketing ou a pessoa do outro lado do balcão, isso vai apenas te prejudicar. Qualquer atitude deve explicitamente trazer você para perto do seu objetivo final. Muitas vezes nós demoramos para dizer o nosso real objetivo durante uma negociação, em alguns casos isso pode servir como uma tática interessante, mas na maioria das vezes não é o caso. Vale mais a pena ser direto honesto desde o começo. 

2. O outro importa mais do que você

Pense sempre no outro. Qual é a posição que ele está nesse momento, qual o tipo de pessoa o outro lado costuma confiar, qual o tipo de compromissos eles costuma conseguir? Então coloque-se no lugar da outra pessoa. "Para ser mais efetivo, você deve colocar as pessoas em uma posição na qual elas de fato queiram fazer algo".

3. Faça pagamentos emocionais

Segundo Diamond o mundo é irracional e as pessoas são irracionais como consequência natural. Qualquer um motivado por um estado puramente emocional não irá ouvir os seus argumentos, quanto mais ser persuadido. Valorize as pessoas que você negocia ou você pode acabar negociando as coisas de uma forma emocional. Procure ter o racional como o foco da discussão.

4. Todas as situações são diferentes

É mais importante ouvir do que falar no inicio das negociações para adquirir mais contexto sobre com quem e sobre o quê está sendo negociado.

5. Melhorar é melhor do que perder

Muitas pessoas começam negociações pedindo demais no início ou fazendo exigências que não tem contexto ou se sustentam apenas com a conjuntura. Se há muitas diferenças entre as partes é importante avançar devagar do que se queimar.

6. Faça trocas desiguais 

É muito importante entender o que a outra parte se importa. Dentro e fora do escopo das negociações seja no emocional ou no racional. Entenda isso e faça trocas que valem para a outra parte mas são irrelevantes para você.

7. Encontre os padrões deles 

Quais são os termos, condições e regras que já vem junto com a própria negociação antes mesmo que ela comece? Isso é realmente muito efetivo quando você precisa fazer múltiplas alavancagens.

8. Seja transparente e construtivo. Não manipule.

Seja você mesmo. No longo prazo, qualquer máscara colocada ou informação não fornecida aparecerá e todos perdem com isso. "Ser verdadeiro é ótimo para a sua credibilidade, que de longe é o seu maior asset"

9. Sempre seja comunicativo. Fale o óbvio e compartilhe a visão

A maioria das negociações falha por pura falta de comunicação. É mais eficaz dizer a verdade e buscar uma solução conjunta do que fazer o contrario.

10. Encontre o real problema e transforme-o em uma oportunidade

Para entender exatamente o que pode estar te limitando em uma negociação, você precisa entender o que exatamente está te impedindo de chegar ao seu objetivo. Problemas são oportunidades.

11. Abrace as diferenças

A maioria das pessoas acha que as diferenças são arriscadas e até se sentem incomodadas com elas. Você pode aprender muito com diferenças. Use-as a seu favor e faça mais perguntas, ao invés de simplesmente aceitar tudo como é.

12. Se prepare, faça uma lista e pratique com ela

Muitas vezes antes de entrar em uma negociação ter uma lista de possibilidades e o que responder a esses cenários é muito positivo e pode fazer uma enorme diferença para os resultados finais. No site do livro Getting More, você encontra uma lista básica para começar, mas o ideal é que cada um construa a sua própria "negotiation list"

Seja você um empreendedor, funcionário um uma mamãe dona de casa, sempre há o que negociar e possibilidades de obter mais e melhor.

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Como entrar em contato com um Venture Capital

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Trabalhando como Relações Públicas para empresas de tecnologia e tendo feito algumas matérias para a @proxxima e o @startupi, não tenho dúvidas de que a capacidade de cultivar bons relacionamentos é fundamental para qualquer empreendedor.

Ninguém realiza as coisas sozinho.

É sempre recomendado você ter co-founders e mentores que ajudarão a guiar a sua idéia em uma empresa de verdade. Outra parte importante é como conseguir receber investimento. 

Os primeiros passos dizem muito mais respeito a relacionamento do que necessariamente uma rodada financeira. Afinal de contas não existe investimento por afinidade ou amizade quando falamos de reais investidores. Meu ponto é que ser lembrado e reconhecido pelo investidor (antes de apresentar seu time vencedor e startup inovadora), faz toda diferença.

Ao assitir essa uma edição do sempre recomendado webshow This Week in Venture Capital, do Mark Suster (@msuster), resolvi destacar os pontos cruciais da entrevista. Ele é um "investidor pop" nos Estados Unidos, pois bloga constantemente com material de qualidade. Tive o prazer de entrevistá-lo há 3 anos atrás no TechCrunch Disrupt São Francisco.

Vamos aos pontos de destaque:

1 - Sobre pedir para o Investidor Assinar um NDA antes de você fazer o pitch

Não seja um idiota. Fazer isso vai queimar seu filme de imediato e mostra que você nem fez a sua lição de casa. A sua idéia tem muito pouco valor, pois o que conta no final do dia é a sua capacidade de execução.

Muito provavelmente o investidor já ouviu idéias bem semelhantes as suas em algum lugar e não vai querer se comprometer legalmente em "apostar" somente na sua empresa. Lembre-se que investimento não é camaradagem. É business e você será cobrado por um retorno.

Gostei quando Suster comenta no vídeo sobre o fato ser muito comum  pessoas que nem se conhecem estarem trabalhando nas mesmas idéias. Portanto, foque na execução!

Eu não conheço ninguém que conhece ou que possa me fazer uma introdução

Nesse caso você precisa ter uma presença online com a sua empresa ou pessoa. De um blog a twitter, podcast a uma splash page para a sua start-up, não importa, pois se você não conhece as pessoas, trabalhe para ser conhecido.

Não se esqueça de avisar o Diego Remus sobre a sua Start-up. ;-)

Outro ponto é que muitos investidores estão online por aí, seja no twitter em blogs, etc.

Siga-os, interaja com eles e mostre que você está no campo jogando bola, mas mantenha a postura. Suster diz que não tem nada mais inapropriado que chegar via Twitter enviando link da sua start-up para o Venture Capital, sem ao menos conhecê-lo ou ter interagido. Use o e-mail, telefone e outras ferramentas menos "quentes". Quando as pessoas estão se expondo digitalmente e você como empreendedor não é capaz de fazer as conexões, é um ponto super negativo. Saber fazer networking é fundamental.

Controle suas Expectativas quando começar a fazer contato

O tempo mínimo para você receber investimento vai de 3 a 9 meses de trabalho (as vezes até mais, para padrões Brasil). As negociações e avaliações junto com a papelada jurídica demoram muito tempo.

Suster fala que é importante saber com quem você está falando da empresa de Venture Capital ou Gestão do Fundo de Private Equity. A velocidade das coisas podem variar se você estiver em contato com um associate junior em comparação com um diretor de portfólio. O ponto é que não existe essa visão de que depois do power point, você recebe uma maleta de dinheiro. As coisas levam tempo.

Gratidão e Respeito

Lembre-se que se a sua empresa não acabar recebendo o investimento esperado você sempre deve ser grato e ter respeito. O mercado é muito pequeno e as notícias se espalham rápido. Seja cordial e independente do que acontecer, agradeça o investidor pelo tempo que ele dedicou à sua empresa.